The incident unfolded at about 7 p.m. Friday near 1st Avenue NE and 117th Street NE as the woman was walking home from the Northgate Mall area, said Renee Witt of the Seattle police.
The victim told officers that the man grabbed her and pulled her into some bushes in a weedy area. She fought with him as he sexually assaulted her, Witt said. The ordeal finally ended when the suspect got up and ran away.
The woman managed to walk home, and her roommate called police. The victim was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.
Detectives from the Seattle Police Department's Special Assault Unit responded to the scene of the assault, but they could find no sign of the suspect.
The victim described her attacker as a white man about 20 to 30 years old who looked "methy," with very bad teeth, sunken eyes and a wiry build. He had very short light-colored hair in a buzz cut, of medium height and build.
Witt said police are still actively investigating the attack. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call 911. Anonymous tips are welcome, Witt said.